Beer may come with a head, however, it doesn’t often come with a heart. But nestled within the Bohemian hinterland, the Pivovar Chříč isn’t your average brewery.
For one thing, it is staffed nearly absolutely through mentally and physically impaired people. For another, it diverts all its earnings to fund a primary school.
Petr Jakubicek is the brains in the back of the enterprise, tucked away in a village 50 miles west of Prague.
A brewery was mounted on the website in 1573 earlier than being closed through the Nazi career government in 1943 in a move to requisition grain to feed German forces at the Japanese front. It changed into later converted right into a collective agricultural agency and stripped of its beer-making equipment through the communist government who got here to electricity in what was then Czechoslovakia after the second one world war.
Reopened in 2016, it is yet again producing beer, courtesy of a body of workers formerly unable to find paintings because of their disabilities.
The concept for the business enterprise was hatched by using Jakubíček and his spouse Jana as they sought a business version that would offer paintings and which means for disabled people within the area, ordinarily resident in a country facility inside the nearby village of Zavidov.
It’s a big hassle in this u. S. That we’ve social institutions which are full of people physically able to operate” said Jakubíček, 39, an NGO specialist from Prague with enjoying of devising programmes for the disabled.
The preliminary plan becomes for a sheltered workshop generating wood or ceramic merchandise, before business possibilities in what’s the sector’s maximum enthusiastic beer-drinking state driven the venture in an extraordinary path.
“We had an enterprise supervisor who changed into concerned approximately a way to get out of the purple,” explains Jakubíček who revived the lengthy-derelict brewery facility with the assist of Propolis, a Czech civic institution. “We had a few examples of suitable practices regarding social enterprise plans. With timber and ceramics, you may discover clients buying it as soon as, however with a beer, we knew they might need to shop for it forever.”
Wheeling crates of beer from a cooling room, Vašek Stark stated his debt of gratitude to the corporation. Stark, sixty-two, has resumed complete-time paintings for the primary time due to the fact that he changed into 20, whilst his profession as a specialist machine operator was ended by using a road accident that left him with critical mind accidents.
“I like the concept that the brewery is here,” said Stark, one of approximately 20 mentally and physically impaired people. “I would have liked to have labored earlier than however I couldn’t due to the fact I had to take care of my mother and father.”
Workers fulfill a spread of tasks, which includes bottling, labeling, cleaning and delivering, on the premise of man or woman suitability, and the production technique is overseen by a pro brewer with forty years’ experience. All receive a minimum wage of 12,2 hundred Czech korun (£420 a month), with the better skilled earning extra.
More valuable, says Jakubiček, is the esteem gained via the people. “The most essential issue is that operating right here gives them a feeling of pleasure,” he says. “It gets them out of the group, where some residents are extra significantly handicapped. Some of them may not recognize the value of cash, however, most of them can read and write.”
The result is a thriving brewery generating half of-a-dozen varieties of lager, stout and ale – consisting of an IPA known as Mahatma in honor of Gandhi – which is sold to pubs and licensed premises in cities together with Prague and Plzen.
Demand is increasing, Jakubíček says, thanks to the phrase of mouth and consumer delight in an exceedingly competitive Czech beer marketplace dominated with the aid of lengthy-established breweries including Pilsner Urquell, Krušovice and Staropramen, all of which have been offered by way of foreign proprietors in current years.
About one hundred twenty,000 liters (240,000 pints) of beer had been produced to this point this year, with plans to boom manufacturing and possibly recruit extra workers.
The profits have helped fund the established order of a number one faculty subsequent to the brewery, filling a gap left by means of the closure of the village’s preceding kingdom faculty 10 years ago. Eighteen scholars – aged from six to 10 – are taught in a single lecture room along non-traditional coaching ideas based on Montessori techniques, overseen through Jakubicek’s spouse, Jana, a certified trainer.